Bristol-based illustrator and author James Davies is a child at heart. His illustrations – undeniably naive, bold, and joyful – revolve around animals and monsters (“I draw monsters for a living,” reads his bio).
“The illustration style I have now is hugely changed from how I was working before,” he admitted in an interview with The Association of Illustrators, talking about his creative process. “Then, I’d have mountains of paper with tiny pencil lines on, scanning in everything and taking forever. Now, I do everything digitally in Photoshop, using my three favorite brushes.”
Each piece is based around color and shape. “I try not to use more than three colors and try and use as few layers as possible in Photoshop,” he explains. “This leads to everything being simplified down to pretty basic shapes, which I then work over with lines and textures to make them a bit more detailed. It’s a process that changes every day, which makes every new illustration really exciting for me (and hopefully others.)”
But though his style is fairly loose and unpolished, the work itself takes time and effort. “I think writing picture books, or any kind of children’s fiction, is much harder than a lot of people realize,” he stated.